The American Red Cross is urging people of all races and ethnicities to give blood or platelets to help increase the diversity of the blood supply.

The vast majority of blood types fall into one of the major blood groups.

However, for patients with rare blood types or those who receive regular blood transfusions, blood must be matched closely – beyond the primary A, B, O and AB blood types – to reduce the risk of developing complications from transfusion therapy.

In these cases, the best match may be someone of the same racial or ethnic group.

Donors of all blood types, as well as all races and ethnicities, are needed to meet the needs of an increasingly diverse patient population.

Appointments can be made by downloading the free Red Cross blood donor App, visiting online at RedCrossBlood.org or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) .

What follows is a list of upcoming blood donation opportunities in the Redwood area: 

• In Lamberton, Oct. 10 from 1-6 p.m. at the American Legion

• In Redwood Falls, Oct. 14 and 15 from 12:30-6:30 p.m. each day at the Redwood Area Community Center

This month at the Redwood Falls events gently used winter gear is being collected for those in the community who have needs (school kids, foster families, etc). There will be a box at the registration desk for donations.

– Photo courtesy of the American Red Cross